Photo of Nicholas R. Brown

Nicholas R. Brown

Assistant Professor


  • Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering

229 Reber Building


Personal or Departmental Website

Research Areas:

Interest Areas:

Nuclear reactor analysis and design; nuclear reactor safety; sustainable nuclear fuel cycles; advanced reactors; advanced nuclear fuel and cladding materials; process heat applications of nuclear energy.




  • BS, Nuclear Engineering, University of New Mexico, 2005
  • MS, Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University, 2007
  • Ph D, Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University, 2011


Journal Articles

  • Nicholas Brown, Andrew Worrall and Michael Todosow, 2017, "Impact of thermal spectrum small modular reactors on performance of once-through nuclear fuel cycles with low-enriched uranium", Annals of Nuclear Energy, 101, pp. 166–173
  • Nicholas Brown, Benjamin R Betzler, Juan J Carbajo, Aaron J Wysocki, M Scott Greenwood, Cole Gentry, Qualls and A Louis, 2017, "Preconceptual design of a fluoride high temperature salt-cooled engineering demonstration reactor: Core design and safety analysis", Annals of Nuclear Energy, 103, pp. 49–59
  • Nicholas Brown, Aaron J Wysocki, Kurt A Terrani, Kevin G Xu and Daniel M Wachs, 2017, "The potential impact of enhanced accident tolerant cladding materials on reactivity initiated accidents in light water reactors", Annals of Nuclear Energy, 99, pp. 353–365
  • Nicholas Brown, Brett W Carlsen, Brent W Dixon, Bo Feng, Harris R Greenberg, Ross D Hays, Stefano Passerini, Michael Todosow and Andrew Worrall, 2016, "Identification of fuel cycle simulator functionalities for analysis of transition to a new fuel cycle", Annals of Nuclear Energy, 96, pp. 88–95
  • Qualls, A Louis, Benjamin R Betzler, Nicholas Brown, Juan J Carbajo, M Scott Greenwood, Richard Hale, Thomas J Harrison, Jeffrey J Powers, Kevin R Robb, Jerry Terrell and others, 2016, "Preconceptual design of a fluoride high temperature salt-cooled engineering demonstration reactor: Motivation and overview", Annals of Nuclear Energy
  • B Feng, B Dixon, E Sunny, A Cuadra, J Jacobson, NR Brown, J Powers, A Worrall, S Passerini and R Gregg, 2016, "Standardized verification of fuel cycle modeling", Annals of Nuclear Energy, 94, pp. 300–312
  • Nicholas Brown, Jeffrey J Powers, Michael Todosow, Massimiliano Fratoni, Hans Ludewig, Eva E Sunny, Gilad Raitses and Arnold Aronson, 2016, "Thorium Fuel Cycles with Externally Driven Systems", Nuclear Technology, 194, (2), pp. 233–251
  • Florent Heidet, Nicholas Brown and Malek Haj Tahar, 2015, "Accelerator–Reactor Coupling for Energy Production in Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycles", Reviews of Accelerator Science and Technology, 8, pp. 99–114
  • JS Baek, A Cuadra, L-Y Cheng, AL Hanson, NR Brown and DJ Diamond, 2015, "Analysis of Loss-of-Flow Accidents for the NIST Research Reactor with Fuel Conversion from HEU to LEU", Nuclear Technology, 189, (1), pp. 71–86
  • Nicholas Brown, Michael Todosow and Arantxa Cuadra, 2015, "Screening of advanced cladding materials and UN–U 3 Si 5 fuel", Journal of Nuclear Materials, 462, pp. 26–42
  • Nicholas Brown, J. J. Powers, B. Feng, F. Heidet, N. E. Stauff, G. Zhang, M. Todosow, A. Worrall, J. C. Gehin, T.K. Kim and others, 2015, "Sustainable thorium nuclear fuel cycles: A comparison of intermediate and fast neutron spectrum systems", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 289, pp. 252–265
  • JS Baek, A Cuadra, L-Y Cheng, AL Hanson, NR Brown and DJ Diamond, 2014, "Analysis of Reactivity Insertion Accidents for the NIST Research Reactor Before and After Fuel Conversion", Nuclear Technology, 185, (1), pp. 1–20
  • DJ Diamond, JS Baek, AL Hanson, LY Cheng, Nicholas Brown and A Cuadra, 2014, "Conversion Preliminary Safety Analysis Report for the NIST Research Reactor", Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY
  • Nicholas Brown, Albert L Hanson and David J Diamond, 2014, "Impact of Local Burnup on Prediction of Power Density in the NIST Research Reactor", Nuclear Technology, 187, (1), pp. 103–116
  • Nicholas Brown, Arnold Aronson, Michael Todosow, Ryan Brito and Kenneth J McClellan, 2014, "Neutronic performance of uranium nitride composite fuels in a PWR", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 275, pp. 393–407
  • LY Cheng, A Cuadra and Nicholas Brown, 2014, "PWR Plant Model to Assess Performance of Accident Tolerant Fuel in Anticipated Transients and Accidents", IAEA TECDOC SERIES, pp. 211
  • NR Brown and M Todosow, 2014, "Reactor Performance Screening of Accident Tolerant Fuel and Cladding Candidate Systems", IAEA TECDOC SERIES, pp. 231
  • Nicholas Brown, Hans Ludewig, Arnold Aronson, Gilad Raitses and Michael Todosow, 2013, "Neutronic evaluation of a PWR with fully ceramic microencapsulated fuel. Part I: Lattice benchmarking, cycle length, and reactivity coefficients", Annals of Nuclear Energy, 62, pp. 538–547
  • Nicholas Brown and Shripad T Revankar, 2012, "A review of catalytic sulfur (VI) oxide decomposition experiments", international journal of hydrogen energy, 37, (3), pp. 2685–2698
  • Nicholas Brown, Volkan Seker, Shripad T Revankar and Thomas J Downar, 2012, "An endothermic chemical process facility coupled to a high temperature reactor. Part I: Proposed accident scenarios within the chemical plant", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 246, pp. 256–265
  • Nicholas Brown, Volkan Seker, Shripad T Revankar and Thomas J Downar, 2012, "Transient simulation of an endothermic chemical process facility coupled to a high temperature reactor: Model development and validation", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 248, pp. 1–13

Technical Reports

  • Nicholas Brown, Jeffrey J Powers, Don Mueller and Bruce W Patton, 2016, "Complete Sensitivity/Uncertainty Analysis of LR-0 Reactor Experiments with MSRE FLiBe Salt and Perform Comparison with Molten Salt Cooled and Molten Salt Fueled Reactor Models"
  • A Qualls, Nicholas Brown, Benjamin R Betzler, Juan Carbajo, Richard Edward Hale, Thomas J Harrison, Jeffrey J Powers, Kevin R Robb, Jerry W Terrell and A. Wysocki, 2016, "Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Demonstration Reactor Point Design"
  • Nicholas Brown, William David Pointer, Matt Sieger, George F Flanagan, Wayne Moe and Mark Holbrook, 2016, "Qualification of Simulation Software for Safety Assessment of Sodium Cooled Fast Reactors: Requirements and Recommendations"
  • Brad Merrill, Melissa Teague, Robert Youngblood, Larry Ott, Kevin Robb, Michael Todosow, Chris Stanek, Mitchell Farmer, Michael Billone, Robert Montgomery and others, 2014, "Advanced Fuels Campaign Light Water Reactor Accident Tolerant Fuel Performance Metrics"

Research Projects

Honors and Awards

  • Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship, Purdue University, 2010 - 2011
  • Graduate Fellowship, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2006 - 2009
  • Institute of Nuclear Power Operators Fellowship, INPO, 2005 - 2006


Service to Penn State:

Service to External Organizations:

  • Committee Member, Reactor Physics Division Program Committee, American Nuclear Society, 2015 - 2018
  • Chairperson, Fuel Cycle and Actinide Management and Reactor Physics Experiments, PHYSOR2014: Role of Reactor Physics towards a Sustainable Future, 2014
  • Chairperson, Integral and Separate Thermal Hydraulics Testing and Analysis I & II, International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants, 2010
  • President, Purdue Alpha Nu Sigma Nuclear Engineering Honor Society, 2009 - 2010
  • Chairperson, General Two Phase Flow, American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting, 2006
  • DemonstratorUniversity of New Mexico Nuclear Science Workshop for middle and high school science teachers, 2003



The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519